Britain's most reliable cars REVEALED 1

Britain’s most reliable cars REVEALED

Advertisement

With second-hand car prices at an all-time high, it’s more important than ever before to buy a used motor that you can count on not going wrong and costing you even more money in repair bills. 

If you are in a position of needing to replace your car and have little choice but to dip into the market now, this information will be vitally important to you. 

It’s What Car?’s just-published results for its used car reliability survey, telling you which brands and models you can rely on to not encounter problems… and which to steer clear of if you want to avoid regular trips to a mechanic.

Advertisement

And this year’s results show that Suzuki cars are the most dependable, while Land Rover remains slumped at the bottom of the reliability rankings for yet another year. 

Most reliable car maker: Suzuki topped the charts in 2021, with owners saying the brand has the highest dependability score of 97%. The Vitara SUV (pictured) had a flawless report

Most reliable car maker: Suzuki topped the charts in 2021, with owners saying the brand has the highest dependability score of 97%. The Vitara SUV (pictured) had a flawless report

The latest mid-monthly update from Auto Trader shows the incredible rise in used car values in the last 12 months.

It claims that the average advertised price for used vehicles on its website last week reached £20,109, which is 28 per cent higher than a year ago, such is the massive demand for used cars in the wake of supply issues with the latest models.

Advertisement

For those with little choice but to replace their cars now, feedback from 16,328 drivers about the dependability of their older vehicle will be of huge interest.

And for anyone concerned about making the leap to an electric or hybrid model, there was reassurance – these types of car were rated as the most dependable, with an average class reliability score of 92.2 per cent. 

Most and least reliable car brands 

MOST RELIABLE BRANDS  

1. Suzuki: 97.0% Reliability rating

Advertisement

2. Lexus: 93.6%

3. Toyota: 92.4%

4. Honda: 92.0%

5. Kia: 90.6%

Advertisement

6. Mitsubishi: 89.0%

7. Mazda: 88.6%

8. Hyundai: 86.5%

9. Dacia: 85.8%

Advertisement

10. Porsche: 85.3%

LEAST RELIABLE BRANDS

Advertisement

1. Land Rover: 65.3%

2. Citroën: 71.8%

3. Peugeot: 73.5%

4. Renault: 74.8%

Advertisement

5. Jaguar: 74.9%

6. Fiat: 76.3%

7. Nissan: 76.4%

8. Vauxhall: 76.7%

Advertisement

9. Volkswagen: 77.1%

10. Mercedes-Benz: 77.4%

Advertisement

Source: What Car? 2021 Reliability Survey based on feedback from 16,328 motorists of cars aged 6-15 years

Advertisement

The reliability data is for cars aged between six and 15 years and covers 27 brands in total and a whopping 139 mainstream models.

In spite of their advancing years, three models achieved a perfect reliability rating of 100 per cent: the current versions of the Ford Mondeo and Suzuki Vitara and the previous-generation Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (on sale from 2011 to 2018).

The Vitara spearheaded victory for Suzuki in the brand rankings, too, pushing the marque above dependability stalwarts Lexus and Toyota, with an overall rating of 97 per cent. 

At the other end of the chart, Citroën and Land Rover received the lowest scores of 71.8 per cent and 65.3 per cent respectively.

Advertisement

However, these brands’ average reliability ratings paled in comparison to the low score of the worst performing model.

That unwanted award went to the petrol-variants of the 2009-to-2015 Vauxhall Astra, which scored a concerning 37.9 per cent. 

The Ford Mondeo, which was unceremoniously axed from showrooms this year, is proving very reliable, with owners saying not a single thing went wrong with this in the last 12 months

The Ford Mondeo, which was unceremoniously axed from showrooms this year, is proving very reliable, with owners saying not a single thing went wrong with this in the last 12 months

Another car with top marks for reliability is the original Nissan Leaf EV, which shamed other battery models that cost more than three times as much as this family hatchback

Another car with top marks for reliability is the original Nissan Leaf EV, which shamed other battery models that cost more than three times as much as this family hatchback

Advertisement

Meanwhile, small is best if you’re after an SUV – small SUVs averaged 86.6 per cent, whereas luxury SUVs could muster only 69.5 per cent.

For the survey, owners were asked if their vehicle had gone wrong in the past 12 months, how long repairs took and how much they cost, with the overall score expressed as a percentage.

The report showed that a quarter (26 per cent) of cars aged six to 15 years old had experienced a fault.

And just 15 per cent of faults were repaired free of charge, with the vast majority of these cars outside of their manufacturer warranty periods. 

Advertisement

Although 56 per cent of repair bills were less than £500, 6 per cent (around one in 16 cases) of owners had to pay out more than £1,500 to get their cars put right.

Rather unsurprisingly it was Land Rover that propped up the reliability table with a brand score of 65.3%. The Discovery (pictured) was the worst rated model, with a score of 43.4%

Rather unsurprisingly it was Land Rover that propped up the reliability table with a brand score of 65.3%. The Discovery (pictured) was the worst rated model, with a score of 43.4%

While the Land Rover Discovery scored poorly for reliability, it was nothing on the worst model - this Vauxhall Astra. Petrol versions were given a 37.9% dependability score from owners

While the Land Rover Discovery scored poorly for reliability, it was nothing on the worst model – this Vauxhall Astra. Petrol versions were given a 37.9% dependability score from owners

And older cars weren’t always quick and easy to fix; faults rendered one in five cars undriveable and 23 per cent of those that went wrong spent more than a week in the garage.

Advertisement

Commenting on the survey, What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘Used car prices have been pushed up by increased demand caused by the computer chip shortage and other new car supply issues. 

‘With many models costing a third more than they did a year ago, it’s more important than ever to pick a dependable model that won’t land you with a constant stream of expensive repair bills. 

‘The What Car? Used Car Reliability Survey can help buyers pinpoint the best brands and models to spend their money on.’

The most and least reliable models in each category has been listed below: 

Advertisement

Most and least reliable older models by category 

Electric and hybrid cars

Average reliability score: 92.2%

Despite its huge price, the Tesla Model S was ranked lowest of all EVs for reliability

Despite its huge price, the Tesla Model S was ranked lowest of all EVs for reliability

Most reliable model: Nissan Leaf (2011-2018) – 100%

Least reliable model: Tesla Model S (2014-present) – 66.2% 

Advertisement

Small SUVs

Average reliability score: 86.6% 

Mini's Countryman scored the lowest reliability rating of all compact SUVs at 83%

Mini’s Countryman scored the lowest reliability rating of all compact SUVs at 83%

Most reliable model: Suzuki Vitara (2015-present) – 100% 

Least reliable model: Mini Countryman (2011-2017) – 83.0% 

Advertisement

Small and value cars

Average reliability score: 84.4%

Toyota commonly tops reliability reports like this. The previous-gen Yaris is proving particularly durable, say owners

Toyota commonly tops reliability reports like this. The previous-gen Yaris is proving particularly durable, say owners

Most reliable model: Toyota Yaris (2011-2020) – 98.5% 

Least reliable: Vauxhall Corsa (2006-2014) – 67.1%

Advertisement

Family cars

Average reliability score: 82.8% 

The Mazda3 hatchback wasn't far away from receiving a perfect reliability score. The same can't be said for the old Vauxhall Astra

The Mazda3 hatchback wasn’t far away from receiving a perfect reliability score. The same can’t be said for the old Vauxhall Astra

Most reliable model: Mazda 3 (2014-2019) – 99.1% 

Least reliable model: Vauxhall Astra petrol (2009-2015) – 37.9%

Advertisement

Executive cars

Average reliability score: 82.4% 

While the Mercedes C-Class on sale at the same time as the Ford Mondeo would have cost far more to buy, it is almost half as dependable as its more affordable rival

While the Mercedes C-Class on sale at the same time as the Ford Mondeo would have cost far more to buy, it is almost half as dependable as its more affordable rival

Most reliable model: Ford Mondeo (2014-2021) – 100% 

Least reliable model: Mercedes-Benz C-Class petrol (2014-2021) – 54.0%

Advertisement

Coupes, convertibles and sports cars

Average reliability score: 81.0%

The world's most-bought roadster is also very dependable. No wonder the Mazda MX-5 is loved by its owners

The world’s most-bought roadster is also very dependable. No wonder the Mazda MX-5 is loved by its owners

Most reliable model: Mazda MX-5 (2015-present) – 95.5% 

Least reliable model: BMW 3 Series Coupé/Convertible (2006-2013) – 68.6%

Advertisement

Large SUVs

Average reliability score: 80.2% 

Most second-hand car buyers tend to steer clear of older large SUVs that are over 15 years old, but that shouldn't be the case with the solid Honda CR-V

Most second-hand car buyers tend to steer clear of older large SUVs that are over 15 years old, but that shouldn’t be the case with the solid Honda CR-V

Most reliable model: Honda CR-V petrol (2006-2012) – 95.8% 

Least reliable model: Land Rover Discovery Sport (2014-present) – 59.3%

Advertisement

Family SUVs

Average reliability score: 78.3% 

BMW's X1 is proving that a premium price tag can also mean decent reliability levels. Though the same can't be said for its family SUV rival, the Range Rover Evoque

BMW’s X1 is proving that a premium price tag can also mean decent reliability levels. Though the same can’t be said for its family SUV rival, the Range Rover Evoque

Most reliable model: BMW X1 (2015-present) – 97.8% 

Least reliable model: Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019) – 61.7% 

Advertisement

Luxury cars

Average reliability score: 75.5% 

A reliability score of 53% puts the Jaguar XF at the bottom of the pile for luxury saloon cars

A reliability score of 53% puts the Jaguar XF at the bottom of the pile for luxury saloon cars

Most reliable model: BMW 5 Series (2010-2017) – 89.8% 

Least reliable model: Jaguar XF (2015-present) – 53.0%

Advertisement

Luxury SUVs

Average reliability score: 69.5%

The Porsche Macan's 88.1% reliability rating is impressive, given how poorly the Land Rover Discovery rated among drivers

The Porsche Macan’s 88.1% reliability rating is impressive, given how poorly the Land Rover Discovery rated among drivers

Most reliable model: Porsche Macan (2014-present) – 88.1% 

Least reliable model: Land Rover Discovery (2004-2017) – 43.4% 

Advertisement

Source: What Car? 2021 Reliability Survey based on feedback from 16,328 motorists of cars aged 6-15 years

Advertisement

SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Similar Posts